EPIC delivers unique adventures to students this fall


Courtesy of EPIC Adventures Facebook page

Students backpacking in Hell's Canyon last year. This year's trip is scheduled for Oct. 19-21, and will consist of a 12-mile hike and camping along the Snake River.

By Drew Lawson, Reporter

Life as a student can be hectic, busy and overwhelming. EPIC Adventures seeks to offer a short reprieve from that environment by offering several weekend outdoor trips throughout the quarter.

“We want to help students get out from school, experience nature and make new friends,” EPIC trip leader Skyler Piper said.

There are nine weekend trips remaining in fall quarter that are available to students. Several activities are offered, including whitewater rafting, rock climbing and backpacking. The next trip is coming up this weekend, EPIC will take students hiking and canoeing at Slocan Lake in southeastern British Columbia. Students of all ages and demographics are encouraged to attend. The deadline to sign up is Thursday Oct. 4 by noon.

“We try to target all [students], including those with disabilities,” EPIC trip leader Katie Farmer said.

Courtesy of EPIC Adventures Facebook page
Students canoeing in Slocan Valley, Canada last year. EPIC will be repeating this trip this upcoming weekend.

EPIC offers accommodations on their trips for students with special needs. However, arrangements need to be made at least two weeks prior to each trip, so the trip to Slocan Lake would not be an option.

There are many more upcoming trips with EPIC.  On Oct. 12-14, they are taking students mountaineering at Mt. Adams in the Cascades. The following weekend, there is a backpacking trip to Hells Canyon, Idaho. That same weekend, EPIC is also going to Cody Caves and Ainsworth Hot Springs in Ainsworth, B.C.  

Participants can expect various experiences, depending on the trip they take. Those going to Slocan Lake will visit a ghost town, go canoeing on the lake and hike one mile to Idaho Peak Lookout. Those who go to Mt. Adams will learn introductory mountaineering techniques on the second-highest peak in the state of Washington. These are just two examples of the wide variety of experiences EPIC has to offer, all of which are targeted at providing a relaxing getaway from schoolwork.

“They give students a break from the stressful campus life,” Farmer said.

Other trips occurring later in the quarter include camping in Montana, rafting the Deschutes River in Oregon and hiking on the Olympic Peninsula on the west side of Washington. Leaders of the trips love the various experiences they have.

“I love spelunking and rock climbing,” trip leader Leah Bardal said.

While some leaders enjoy the rocky terrain, others prefer to tackle the water and the various challenges it has to offer.

“Taking students whitewater rafting for their first time (is my favorite part),” Piper added. Piper led a rafting trip last weekend on the Clark Fork in Montana. It was EPIC’s first weekend excursion of the year.

Students with tight budgets don’t need to feel held back by finances when considering an EPIC weekend getaway. Trips range anywhere from $40-$125. The trip to Slocan Lake costs $60. The mountaineering adventure on Mt. Adams will run students $50.

Transportation and food is covered with these costs. Participants are shuttled using two 14-seat buses and three large SUVs that seat seven to eight people.

There are required pre-trip meetings for students attending the various trips. There, they will receive a waiver form to fill out and learn all the necessary information in preparation for the getaway.

EPIC leaders expect all participants to enjoy themselves among a welcoming group of people as they experience nature.

“[Students should] expect a fun, inclusive environment for all skill levels,” Piper said.

There are three ways to sign up for weekend getaway trips with EPIC. The easiest way is to visit the EPIC Adventures front desk, located downstairs in the URC next to the skate desk. Students can call the front desk at 509-359-4014. There are also online signups, accessible at shopeaglerec.ewu.edu. For more information, check out the EPIC Adventures catalog, both online and in print at various locations around campus.